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First built between c. II 1000 and c. II 1600; destroyed in II 3441; rebuilding began in III 2951; finally destroyed in III 3019
On an outcrop of Ered Lithui, in the northwest of Mordor
Built by Sauron
Uncertain, but probably lu'gboorz
Probably 'Dark Tower'1
Other names


About this entry:

  • Updated 16 February 2021
  • This entry is complete
Map of Lugbúrz

One of the few attested names to be recorded from the Black Speech, Lugbúrz was the name used by the servants of Sauron for his Dark Tower in Mordor, more commonly known by its Elvish name of Barad-dûr. The term was generally used by the Orcs in Sauron's service not only for the Dark Tower itself, but also by association for their high command, or for Sauron himself.2

Orcs in general were contemptuous of others of their kind, but the Orcs who served away from Lugbúrz had special disrespect for those within the Tower. To the Uruk-hai of Isengard, those dwelling in the depths of Mordor were simply cowards. Closer at hand, Orcs stationed elsewhere in Mordor feared the occupants of Lugbúrz, expecting spies from there within their own ranks, and fearing to send bad reports to the Dark Tower.

Lugbúrz for its own part had little confidence or trust in other garrisons of Orcs, even within Mordor. So, when the Orcs of Cirith Ungol captured the Ring-bearer (an event that might have won the War of the Ring for Sauron) they had only vague instructions to follow. Even those were enough to give the Orcs a hint that they held something vital that Lugbúrz wanted, and so spark a deadly conflict among them that allowed Frodo Baggins to escape their clutches.



The Black Speech name Lugbúrz is never directly translated, but as most other forms of this name mean 'Dark Tower', it is probably reasonable to assume that Lugbúrz carried a similar meaning. This is supported by the word burzum in the Ring-inscription, which means 'darkness' (and hence we can deduce that Black Speech lug likely means 'tower').


For example, the Orc Shagrat spoke of having something that Lugbúrz wanted, and of Lugbúrz being troubled. In instances like this he is clearly not referring to the literal Dark Tower, but to the 'Top Ones' who were running the War from there.


About this entry:

  • Updated 16 February 2021
  • This entry is complete

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